3 tips on
work for you
3 tips on
work for you
The current shift towards increased hybrid working is a transition many of us are experiencing today and will continue navigating for some time. This period of change offers an opportunity to reflect on what works best for you, re-set any unhelpful habits and behaviours, and re-prioritise how you spend your time and energy.
With the challenges of the last two years highlighting the equal importance of effectiveness and wellbeing, now is a great time to consider how best to plan your week in a way that supports both productivity and personal welfare.
Here are three practical tips to help you craft a hybrid working plan that’s right for you.
Tip 1: Protect practices that support work-life balance
The ways in which we’ve worked over the last two years have likely been quite different to our ‘normal’ patterns pre-pandemic. Some of these ways of working we’ll be glad to leave behind – like balancing team meetings with homeschooling or conducting client calls from the bedroom. But there may have been benefits too – such as having greater flexibility to spend time with family or making space to exercise during the ‘traditional’ working day.
As we return to the office, it’s important that we avoid falling back into old habits that may take away the personal value that’s been gained through experimenting with different working patterns. We need to make conscious choices about how we spend our time, such as setting aside saved commuting hours on home-working days for a wellbeing activity, rather than simply extending the working day. Defining simple rituals that help the switch from home to work mode can be useful too, like using a train journey to listen to an industry podcast or even dusting off the workplace wardrobe to feel the part when in the office.
Rather than jump straight back into previous routines, pause to ask yourself the following questions when planning your ideal hybrid work-life balance:
- How has remote working helped and hindered my work-life balance?
- What do I miss most and least about working in the office?
- What work-life balance improvements must I not lose when moving to hybrid working?
- Is there anything else I can do to support my weekly wellbeing when hybrid working?
Tip 2: Conduct a personal productivity audit
When it comes to productivity, there’s no one-size-fits all hybrid working solution. That’s because the way we work is impacted by several varying factors. While some people thrive with the buzz of background noise, others prefer peace and quiet to get certain tasks done. Some of us are morning birds, while others are night owls. The home environment of a colleague with small children will be quite different to someone who lives alone.
We all have varied wants and needs from our time working at home versus in the office.
General advice suggests that focused, deep work requiring sustained attention (e.g. report writing) may be best done at home, while in-person office time benefits social engagement, networking and collaboration. However, planning the right hybrid working week still requires personal choice as we are all different and work in different ways. We also need to be mindful of differences in hybrid models from one organisation to the next, which means there may be some specific workplace requirements we need to align to.
To get the best of both worlds through the hybrid model, we need to think differently about the way in which we define office and home working. Instead of seeing the office as a workplace destination, we need to view both in-person working and remote working as the different tools we need to do our job effectively (whilst protecting our wellbeing too).
Tip 3: Bring a healthy dose of flexibility to hybrid working
With any change there’s a need to be agile to evolving circumstances and responsive to continuous feedback. The shift to hybrid working is no different. At a broader level, we need to be open to ongoing adaptations to our schedule based on what we learn about the hybrid approach over the coming weeks and months, both at an individual and team / organisational level. Test out new ways of working, then review and update accordingly.
For example, while you may decide to focus office hours on face-to-face time with colleagues, you may also discover that certain meetings – such as catch ups with global team members – are more aligned to home working.
Written by Jayne Ruff
Jayne Ruff Occupational Psychologist & Director at ChangingPoint For more information on ChangingPoint, please
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